Sequentia

Ensemble for Medieval Music. Benjamin Bagby, Director

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Sequentia celebrates its 40th anniversary in March 2017
 
 

Contact

E-mail: info@sequentia.org

Representation
(Europe)

Katja Zimmermann
VCzimmermann@gmx.net

Representation
(exclusive of Europe)

Seth Cooper
Seth Cooper Arts Inc.
4592 Hampton Ave.
Montréal, QC, Canada
www.sethcooperarts.com
sethcooper.arts@gmail.com
Tel: 514-467-5052

 

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Programs

Voices from the Island Sanctuary:
Ecclesiastical Singers in Paris (1180-1230)

New Year’s Day

In the days following Christmas, a number of feasts were celebrated at Notre Dame during which various lower groups in the cathedral hierarchy (priests, deacons, subdeacons, and even the choirboys) had their own day to assume full power in the church and control the entire operation of the liturgy. This ancient tradition, which was probably linked to pagan winter-solstice practices, was a harmless and benevolent moment of lightness in the liturgical year; but by the late 12th century the Parisian celebrations began to get out of control, with incidents of blasphemy in the church, clerics dressing as women, fighting, and indecent displays of youthful (male) energy. The Feast of the Circumcision, on New Year’s Day – which came to be known as the Festum Fatuorum (Feast of Fools) – belonged to the subdeacons, a group of underpaid, overworked young men (mostly former choirboys who were now the principal daily vocal soloists in the choir) who were particularly notorious for their naughty songs and scandalous pranks in the church (many involving the cantor’s “rod” – baculus – a symbol of authority in the choir). When a Papal legate complained about their behaviour in 1198, the Bishop of Paris finally had to issue an official reprimand, and these raucous festivities were severely curtailed, at least temporarily. In their place a number of new musical compositions were provided for the boys and young men to sing, as an attempt to channel their youthful energy into serious rehearsals and the propriety of carefully-managed celebrations, instead of the spontaneous revels which formerly marked this feast.

Texts

Annus renascitur

The year is reborn! Let us be joyful now! The old is cast out, and the new Adam is born. Let us rejoice at the year renewed! The baculus is passed around… a new sun rises … the clouds depart! Let us be joyful now!

Novus annus hodie

Today a new year urges us to begin joyful praises… therefore, let us celebrate this annual feast, loosing the chains of sin, giving drink to the thirsty, healing the sick with this medicine, as joyfully we sing as a memorial:

[refrain]: Ha! Ha! He! He who truly wishes to sing should make praise with three gifts: with his mouth, heart and good works he should labour, so that he might live and please God!

He is worthy of memory whose end is joyful, worthy of great praise whose kindness is without end, who created the heavens, the earth and the sea. Thus he ruled the world with his Word, and was concerned to enrich man, to command his subjects, and according to his will give him immortality.

[refrain]: Ha! Ha! He!...

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Upcoming Concerts

27 February 2018
Omaha, Nebraska / University of Nebraska
Beowulf

01 March 2018
Dallas, Texas / Nasher Sculpture Center
Beowulf

04 March 2018
New York City, NY / The Cloisters
The Wanderer (solo program) North American premiere

07 March 2018
Poughkeepsie, NY / Vassar College
Beowulf

20 April 2018
Konstanz, D
Oswald in Konstanz

See full concert schedule

 

News

Benjamin Bagby's teaching activities in 2018

In addition to his teaching position at the University of Paris - Sorbonne, where he has taught since 2005 in the professional masters program, Benjamin Bagby travels widely in 2018 to teach other practical workshops for young professionals:

Milano, Scuola Civica di Musica (Milano, Italy) 29-31 January
The troubadours of the Milano manuscript R71 sup. (late 13th century)

Folkwang Universität der Künste (Essen-Werden, Germany) April-June
Benjamin will join the faculty of this renowned masters program for liturgical chant performance and medieval music, specializing this year in music from Notre Dame of Paris. The dates of his courses: 13-14 April, 18-20 May, 28-30 May and 15-17 June. More information

Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland) 25-26 May

7th International Course on Medieval Music Performance (Besalú, Spain) .
Music relating to the idea of the Crusades, especially in the 12th and early 13th centuries.

Amherst Early Music Festival (Connecticut College, New London CT) 15-21 July
An intensive course on the Roman de Fauvel (14th century)
July 21, 2018, 1 pm "Roman de Fauvel project" (student performance)

Burg Fürsteneck, Germany (31 August to 02 September
Fortbildung zur Musik des Mittelalters / Roman de Fauvel (guest instructor)

More news